Sikhs in New York Set Guinness Record on Turban Day

Turban Day was organized as part of the annual Baisakhi celebration in New York.


Sikhs in New York created a Guinness World Record by tying 9,000 turbans in eight hours at Times Square on April 7, as part of the annual Baisakhi celebration. They also used the occasion to spread awareness about their religion.

The Turban Day, held by the Sikhs of New York organization, has been an annual feature during the Baisakhi celebration in mid-April since 2013.

The organization wanted to create a record this year by tying the most number of turbans on people, even if they were not Sikhs. The organization won a certificate from the Guinness World Record, that said: “Most turbans tied in 8 hours was achieved by Sikhs of NY (USA) in Times Square in New York, the USA on April 7, 2018.”

“We were truly overwhelmed to see the support of 1,300+ volunteers,” the group said on Facebook. The event involved several volunteers from across the city tying the turban on tourists and Americans alike, and talking about their culture, to create awareness about Sikhism.

The event comes amid growing hate crimes in the United States. Recently, an awareness ad campaign organized by a Sikh group, the National Sikh Campaign, partnered with marketing firm FP1 Strategies to raise awareness about the religion in the United States. The campaign won the 2018 PR Week U.S. Award in the “Best for a Cause” category.

Sikhs have been prompted to take such large-scale steps to create awareness about their culture and identity because they have often been mistaken for Muslims and targeted in the United States. Sikhs also condemn violence against Muslims.

The New York-based group on April 7 said that for the first time thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from across the world left Times Square wearing a turban and learned about Sikhism, according to the Press Trust of India.

“On Turban Day, we tied turbans regardless of age, color, gender or race,” Chanpreet Singh, the founder of Sikhs of New York said. “These are core Sikh values and American values that make us Sikh Americans. Our diversity is our strength,” he added. “This educational endeavor would not be possible without our hundreds of volunteers and supporters.”

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